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‘I Wish We Could Make Books All Day!’ An Observational Study of Kindergarten Children During Writing Workshop

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جلد:
42
زبان:
english
رسالہ:
Early Childhood Education Journal
DOI:
10.1007/s10643-013-0625-2
Date:
November, 2014
فائل:
PDF, 10.15 MB
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Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:405–414
DOI 10.1007/s10643-013-0625-2

‘I Wish We Could Make Books All Day!’ An Observational Study
of Kindergarten Children During Writing Workshop
Chelsea Sue Bahnson Snyders

Published online: 5 December 2013
 Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Abstract With the adoption of the Common Core Standards and a renewed emphasis on critical and higher-order
thinking skills, exploring the relationship among writing
development, self-efficacy beliefs, perseverance, and effort
has become essential. The nature of writing workshop not
only lends itself to differentiation among students but also
provides opportunities to explore authentic texts and tasks.
The purpose of this qualitative, multicase study was to
explore the development of kindergarten writers within a
writing workshop. Research questions focused on writer
identity, writing self-efficacy, and growth as kindergarten
writers. The participants, two female and one male, were
randomly chosen for this study and attended an all-day,
3-days per-week kindergarten program at a public school in
the upper Midwest. Student writing interviews, videotaped
student–teacher conferences, and student written work
served as data sources. The writing workshop framework
provided a learning environment that was conducive to the
formation of the three children’s writing identities. As
students engaged in writing mini-lessons, text inquiries,
writing, and sharing writing with peers, student writing
stamina and engagement increased. Students utilized
techniques and strategies of published writers. Students
adopted these qualities in their views of themselves as
writers. Suggestions for future research included exploring
writing self-efficacy in relation to everyday kindergarten
experiences, allowing for sharing and feedback, and
addressing the ways in which writing workshop might
provide for authentic and rigorous instruction and tasks in
kindergarten classrooms.
C. S. B. Snyders (&)
West Lyon Community School District, 1787 IA 18; 2nd Street,
Inwood, IA 51240, USA
e-mail: csnyders@wlwildcats.org

Keywords Kindergarten  Writing  Self-efficacy 
Writer identity  Writing workshop  Authentic tasks

Introduction
On the first day of school an enthusiastic kindergarten
teacher sends her students off to write. As the children are
getting settled with their paper and markers a student
shouts, ‘‘But teacher, I can’t write!’’ The teacher thinks,
‘‘You are five. You can do anything. Writing is a natural
skill, a chance to create and explore.’’ The teacher takes
these thoughts with her throughout the day. How can she
give this student inspiration to want to write—to never
mutter the words ‘‘I can’t write’’ again?
The heart of student achievement is having a sense of
ability, or self-efficacy (Johnston 2004). Children take cues
from their environment, peers, teachers, and experiences,
which assist in the development of their perceived selfefficacy beliefs (Bandura 1994; Wearmouth et al. 2011).
During writing workshop children are given authentic
writing experiences that foster their writer identity and selfefficacy development.
Utilizing a writing workshop format in kindergarten is
not a new concept, nor is it a staple in the kindergarten
curriculum. Managing a block of writing time with 5 and
6 year olds who lack confidence in writing, have short
attention spans, and are at different places in their writing
development can be intimidating. Therefore, writing for a
compositional purpose is often the practice eliminated or
shortened to make time for other activities. Infrequent or
contrived writing experiences often result when teachers
feel unprepared to teach writing or are unaware of current
research (Calkins 2011; Mackenzie 2011; Johnson 1988).
Focusing on a prompt or a emphasizing handwriting

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creates missed opportunities for the deep thinking that
occurs when writing processes are explored with emergent
writers (Mavrogenes 1993).
Writing to express ideas and convey meaning stems
from students’ experiences and knowledge. Kindergarten
students may use a combination of visual language,
drawing, and writing, in their attempts to elaborate their
stories. Writing, in this sense, is natural and builds on
children’s schema (Mackenzie 2011).
With the adoption of the Common Core Standards and a
renewed emphasis on critical and higher-order thinking
skills, exploring the relationship among writing development, self-efficacy beliefs, perseverance, and effort has
become essential. Focusing on the processes writers utilize
allows students to be constructors of information and
engage in inquiry. This study explores the development of
kindergarten writers’ confidence, identity, and growth
within a writing workshop. Three questions are examined:
How do kindergarteners describe themselves as writers?
Will writing self-efficacy of students change throughout
the writing workshop experience? Will students notice and
utilize writing processes from authentic literature in their
writing products?
Self-Efficacy and Writer Identity
Johnston (2004) describes agency, or self-efficacy, as the
perception one has about his or her capabilities. Self-efficacy is influenced by personal and social experiences,
including family, peer, and school influences (Bandura
1994). This sense of agency can empower children to
accomplish their goals both in and out of school. Educators
play a significant role in creating experiences and environments for students to develop their self-efficacy.
Analysis of student writing samples provides information on writing progress in young children; however, this
explores just one layer of writing growth. Research has
suggested additional study of children’s writing agency
through writing samples, classroom observations, and
metacognition when writing (Fisher 2010; Pajares et al.
2007). Students tend to recognize the importance of writing
and view themselves as writers when teachers make
authentic writing a priority in the classroom (Mackenzie
2011; Wearmouth et al. 2011). Practices that build on prior
knowledge naturally encourage perceived self-efficacy
growth (Margolis and McCabe 2003).
Writing Workshop
A balanced literacy approach allows educators to cultivate
critical thinking skills and to create experiences that support academic, intellectual, social, emotional and physical
development (Calkins 2011; Taberski 2011). Essential

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aspects of development—including critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity—are all fostered
through writing, as children must make intentional decisions while expressing their thoughts on paper (Calkins
2011; Jacobs 2004; Ray and Glover 2008).
A process-oriented writing workshop format that
encourages student choice, includes teacher feedback
through student–teacher conferences and student sharing,
occurs at the same time every day, provides students with
the opportunity to construct their writing knowledge and
skills (Calkins 2011; Ray and Cleaveland 2004). This
structure also fosters student independence and allows for
differentiation of instruction. Students excel when given
the time and encouragement to create, explore, and think
through writing workshop.

Design and Methodology
The teacher–researcher examined student perceptions and
growth within writing workshop in the natural setting of
the classroom through case studies. Case studies permitted
the teacher–researcher to partake in the gathering of data
and classroom instruction (Creswell 2009). A social constructivist view, where the learning environment and
interactions between students are vital components to student achievement, served as the study’s theoretical
framework (Vygotsky 1978).
Sample
The participants in the study attended a public school
located in the upper Midwest. The school served approximately 790 students, preschool through twelfth grade. The
kindergarten program was an all-day, 3-day per-week
program until the last 6 weeks of school when it became an
all-day, every day program. The class consisted of 20
students. The research process began early in the school
year before writing skills of students were fully known;
therefore, random selection was utilized to determine participants. Student names were put into a container and the
first three names chosen became the participants in the
study. Consent to collect writing samples, along with
observed and recorded data was obtained from the guardians of each participant.
The sample included two 6 year olds and one 5 year old.
Research was conducted during the writing workshop
block. All students worked independently or with a partner
during this time. They also worked with the teacher–
researcher in one-to-one conferences during the week.
Participants and non-participants received similar instruction and conferences based on individual student needs.
Data collection was completed with all students.

Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:405–414

407

Table 1 Daniel’s interview responses
Who do you
know that is
a writer?

What
makes him/
her a
writer?

Are you a
writer? How
do you know?

What is the
hardest thing
about writing?

What is easy
about
writing?

What helps
you when
you write?

How do you
decide what to
write about?

How do you
think people
learn to write?

October
pre-study
responses

You. (The
teacher)

They can
label

Yeah. Cuz I
write stuff

Labeling. You
gotta try to
break the
sounds

Write stuff.
Drawing
the
pictures

Imagination
and stuff

Cuz you saw
stuff before

Not sure

January
post
study
responses

My sister

She knows
how to
read

Yes. I write
books

Not really
anything

Sounding
words out

Sound it out

Things that
happen to us
before

Memorizing
things

Setting
The research was conducted as a part of the daily classroom culture and during the regular school day in the
typical classroom environment. Students could choose to
work on their writing in various places in the classroom
including the tables throughout the room, on the floor, and
other seating areas.
The teacher–researcher strived for a consistent framework for writing workshop. It occurred every day from
8:15 to 9:20. Writing workshop included a mini-lesson
midway through the block where the teacher–researcher
modeled, demonstrated, or explored a writing approach or
strategy with the students. Student work, teacher writing, or
authentic published texts were utilized as mentor texts in
mini-lessons. Students were encouraged to listen, think,
and talk about the techniques or strategies discovered and
discussed.

Methods
Over a period of 10 weeks the teacher–researcher collected
student writing samples, interviews, and video recordings
and examined data for similarities, patterns, and growth. At
the beginning and end of the study, students were asked to
draw a picture of a writer in the process of writing and then
describe the picture to the teacher–researcher. Students
were asked nine interview questions to aid in further
understanding of student perceptions of writers and writing. The interview questions were adapted from research
by Fisher (2010) and can be found in Table 1. The interview data were examined and compared side-by-side to
determine student perspectives on writer identity and student connection with published writers. Student writing
samples and conference transcripts collected each week
provided evidence of writing self-efficacy in participants
along with student application and ownership of skills and
techniques utilized by published authors.

During independent writing, the teacher-researcher
conferred for 5 min with individual students once every
3 days. During recorded conferences, the researcher
observed the student writing, dialoged with the student, and
provided strategies or skills for the student to try to
implement in his/her writing. The researcher recorded
observed data that demonstrated student knowledge of
writing.
Writing samples were collected at the end of each week
for analysis. The researcher looked for indicators of the
application of strategies and skills discussed during large
group mini-lessons and individual conferences, as well as
growth over time. To conclude the writing workshop block,
students participated in large group, small group, or partner
sharing of their writing on a daily basis.
A constant comparative method was utilized, with the
researcher collecting, analyzing, and reflecting on data
throughout the study. Data sources were triangulated and
data collected from student–teacher conferences, video
recordings, interviews, and student samples allowed the
researcher to explore themes and patterns that addressed
the study’s research questions. Thick, rich descriptions of
the research were used to provide a detailed picture of
writing workshop and student growth (Creswell 2009).
Daniel
Daniel was the second born of four children in his family.
He was 6 years old and had attended both preschool and
transitional kindergarten. Daniel lived with his parents and
siblings throughout the duration of the study. He enjoyed a
variety of fine and gross motor activities. He liked working
both independently and with peers.
In the interviews, Daniel’s responses revolved around
the application of topics explored during writing minilessons. He referred to writing mini-lessons directed on
how writers get ideas, saying that writers write about
specific experiences. See Table 1 for the interview questions and Daniel’s responses. Writing mini-lessons early in

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Fig. 1 Daniel’s illustrations of writers. a Pre study b Post study

the year explored adding words by labeling. Daniel began
to experiment with adding words to his writing and
attempted to add labels to the animal informational book he
was working on.
Daniel’s illustration of a writer focused on the actual
product of writing. He described a writer as someone who
writes a book. The illustration that Daniel created at the
end of the study to show a writer writing referenced the Mo
Willems craft study mini-lessons. In this illustration,
Daniel depicts himself sitting, a thought bubble with a
pigeon inside it, and a paper with drawing on it (Fig. 1). He
explained his drawing by saying, ‘‘I am thinking about the
pigeon and then writing.’’
Student–Teacher Writing Conferences
Daniel’s description of himself as a writer and his growth
in writing self-efficacy is supported by the data collected,
transcribed, and analyzed during student–teacher writing
conferences. Throughout the study the teacher-researcher
began each student conference asking, ‘‘What are you
working on today?’’ One week into the study, he replied,
‘‘Words,’’ as he was first attempting to add sentences to his
writing. The writing of his words took precedence to the
illustration. He was utilizing high frequency sight words
along with some beginning and ending sounds.
In response to a class author study of Mo Willems’
books, Daniel explored illustration techniques. With
prompting from the teacher, he would add written words to
his books. During the next month he began vocalizing the
decision-making and revising aspects of writers, which
were both topics discussed during writing mini-lessons.
Daniel’s Writing Samples and Progression as a Writer
Samples of Daniel’s writing collected and analyzed by the
teacher–researcher at the end of each week provided

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evidence of his self-efficacy in writing as well as his
application of strategies and techniques utilized by published authors. Daniel worked on 15 texts over the course
of the study. His approach to topic selection and writing
varied. Following a class mini-lesson on how writers get
ideas for their books, he wrote about places that he liked
(Fig. 2).
Daniel’s writing samples indicated movement from
utilizing high frequency words and beginning and ending
sounds to experimenting with different illustration techniques with very few words. During a Mo Willems author
study, Daniel began using lines to show shouting and
movement in illustrations along with drawing different
views of the same image: a large cat, small cat, close cat,
far cat, the whole body of a cat, or just the face of a cat
(Fig. 3).
Daniel continued to explore texts structures while creating what he called ‘‘Pigeon Books like Mo Willems’’ by
including pigeons drawn off the page, close up, and far
away. He used speech and thought bubbles to show dialogue. Writing samples indicated that Daniel had been
starting many books, but was not finishing or adding words
without teacher prompting.
The teacher–researcher reviewed how writers get ideas
for writing, encouraging Daniel to write about a personal
experience. The teacher asked Daniel who he thought
would enjoy reading his book. He responded, ‘‘My dad.’’
The teacher asked if he might finish the book by adding lots
of words and details. He responded with a smile and a nod.
Teacher observations indicated a renewed perseverance in
Daniel’s work. When writing workshop concluded for the
day, Daniel looked at the teacher, put on a huge smile and
said, ‘‘I wish we could make books all day.’’
In the following weeks, Daniel continued to display
urgency in his attitude, writing, and exchanges with his
classmates and teacher. He worked on the same text over
multiple days, added important details to his illustrations
and words, and applied illustration and text structure
techniques previously practiced. When conferring with the
teacher about a page showing he and his dad chasing cattle
out of a trailer into a barn, he pointed to a steer that was
only partially shown and said, ‘‘I showed him moving, like
Mo Willems does.’’
Ella
Ella was the youngest of three children in her family. She
was 5 years old at the time of the study and had attended
preschool the previous school year. Ella lived with her
sisters and parents throughout the duration of the study.
She enjoyed any activities that included interaction with
classmates. Reading and playing school with friends were
often choices that she made.

Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:405–414

409

Fig. 2 Daniel writes about
places he likes. a I Like b, I like
the mountains. c I like the Black
Hills. d I like the ocean

Fig. 3 Daniel experiments with
illustration techniques. a I can
see the cat. b I can touch the cat.
c I can watch the cat. d I can
have the cat

While Ella indicated that she regarded herself a writer
during the initial interview, follow up responses suggested
confusion as to what being a writer involved. In the concluding interview Ella provided many responses connected
to her experiences in writing at school. (Table 2).

Ella’s initial illustration of a writer showed a drawing of
a person standing. She described her picture saying, ‘‘This
is my dad and he is writing about me and my family going
to a hotel.’’ Ella’s concluding illustration of a writer
showed her mom with a thought bubble (Fig. 4). She also

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Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:405–414

Table 2 Ella’s interview responses
Who do
you know
that is a
writer?

What makes him/
her a writer?

Are you a
writer? How
do you
know?

What is the hardest
thing about writing?

What is
easy
about
writing?

What helps
you when
you write?

How do you
decide what
to write
about?

How do you
think people
learn to
write?

October
pre-study
responses

My dad

He writes books

Yes. Not
sure

I don’t know

I don’t
know

I don’t
know

My family
because…

Ummmm.
Not sure

January
post
study
responses

Older sister

Cuz she tells me
that one day she
wants to be a
writer

Yes, because
I write at
school

Writing The
Gingerbread Man
cuz there is a lot of
stuff on it

Writing
Words

ABC chart

Because I
like all that
stuff

Not sure

Ella’s Writing Samples and Progression as a Writer

Fig. 4 Ella’s illustrations of writers. a Pre study b Post study

included words with her picture. She explained her illustration by stating, ‘‘This is my mom drawing a book. A
thought bubble!’’
Student–Teacher Writing Conferences
Weekly student–teacher writing conferences provided
insight into Ella’s image of herself as a writer and her
growth in writing self-efficacy. Ella would often explain
her future plans for the piece she was working on, ‘‘And on
this page I am going to write us eating a snack.’’ When the
teacher–researcher asked Ella during the first conference in
the study if she had ever thought about adding words to her
writing, Ella responded by shaking her head. A month into
the study she regularly utilized both illustrations and
written words to convey a message in her books.
Ella began attending to rereading, revising, and inclusion of
a cover following whole class mini-lessons. During a conference, Ella read a book about Christmas that she had just
written. In reading the cover page she exclaimed, ‘‘Oh, I forgot
my last name!’’ The following week Ella revised a page she
had written about a trip her family had taken, changing the
sentence: ‘‘We ate supper’’ to ‘‘We ate breakfast’’.

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Ella’s writing samples were gathered and analyzed by the
teacher-researcher each week to examine Ella’s writing
self-efficacy and application of strategies and techniques
utilized by published authors. Ella worked on 32 different
texts over the course of the study. She regularly wrote
about personal life experiences and was able to reread her
writing to others.
While verbalizing her stories effectively, Ella’s writing
at the onset of the study lacked written details. She used
one color when creating her illustrations and the illustrations became more vague on each consecutive page. During her initial conference, Ella added her first written words
to her writing (Fig. 5).
Ella’s writing samples indicated that she continued to
take small steps each day in adding words to her writing.
Mid-study, Ella was including many words in her writing.
She preferred to write alongside classmates and often took
cues from them.
Ella alternated between working on concept books and
personal narratives. She continued to write with a strong
sense of message and plans for her writing. She began
revising her work and utilizing punctuation more conventionally. Ella included a cover page complete with a
title in her book, Ella Comes Over (Fig. 6). In this text
Ella incorporated many aspects of her writing understandings. She created a plan, prepared a cover with the
title and author/illustrator name, utilized multiple details
and colors throughout the book, matched text to the
illustrations and added specific details in the written
words.
Ella explored creating books with different text structures after class inquires on book formats. She made books
with lists structures and progressive formats where each
page built upon itself. Ella continued to reference minilesson topics. During a conference late in the study when
asked how she decided what to write about she stated, ‘‘I am
writing about rainbows cuz I like rainbows.’’

Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:405–414

411

Fig. 5 Ella adds a written
word. a My family was going to
a hotel. b All of the girls in our
family were swimming. c We
ate a snack. d We went home

Fig. 6 Ella makes a plan and
writes about a specific life
experience. a Ella comes over.
b We walked on the road. c We
played basketball. d We ate a
snack

Jessie
Jessie was the younger of two girls in her family. Prior to
kindergarten Jessie attended both preschool and transitional kindergarten. She lived with her parents and her
sister throughout the duration of the study. She enjoyed

sharing stories with the teacher and approached learning
with enthusiasm.
Initial interview responses from Jessie revolved around
drawing and prior writing experiences. See Table 3 for
interview questions and Jessie’s pre and post study
responses. When asked, ‘‘How do you think people learn to

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Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:405–414

Table 3 Jessie’s interview responses
Who do you
know that is
a writer?

What
makes
him/her a
writer?

Are you a
writer? How
do you
know?

What is the
hardest thing
about writing?

What is
easy about
writing?

What helps you
when you
write?

How do you
decide what
to write
about?

How do you think
people learn to
write?

October
pre-study
responses

Maire
(classmate)

Cuz I like
her
pictures

Yes. I am
writing a
lot of
pictures

I can’t draw
some stuff

I can
make
cool
rainbows

If everybody
else be quiet
so I can
concentrate

I have to
think for a
minute

When mom teaches
them how to color

January
post
study
responses

Me!
(herself)

Cuz I
learn
how to
write

Yes,
because I
write a lot

You gotta blend
the sounds and
try to make
words

Drawing
the
pictures

I practice.

When I think
of ideas. I
know my
pages

When they get
better writers and
they write a lot, a
lot, a lot

Fig. 7 Jessie’s illustrations of writers. a Pre study b Post study

write?’’ Jessie responded by saying, ‘‘When mom teaches
them how to color.’’ In the concluding interview Jessie
referenced previous writing mini-lessons. In response to
the questions: ‘‘Are you a writer? How do you know?’’
Jessie replied, ‘‘Yes, because I write a lot.’’
Jessie’s first illustration of a writer showed someone
drawing a person on a piece of paper. She explained her
drawing; ‘‘This is me when I am drawing a picture of my
sister.’’ The teacher–researcher asked what writers do.
Jessie responded by saying, ‘‘Writers write about stuff.’’
The concluding illustration (Fig. 7) that Jessie created to
depict a writer writing showed a person who was thinking
along with the word thinking. She described her illustration
by saying, ‘‘Writers think of ideas.’’
Student–Teacher Writing Conferences
Data gathered and examined through student–teacher
conferences provided evidence of Jessie’s description of
herself as a writer and her writing self-efficacy. In
response to the teacher–researcher’s leading conference
question, ‘‘What are you working on today?’’ Jessie
jumped right into explaining the book she was working

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Fig. 8 Jessie’s elf on the shelf. The elf said good-bye

on. She would read the words, describe the illustrations,
and elaborate on both. Jessie applied writing strategies
and techniques presented during both writing and reading
mini-lessons.
During a conference Jessie stated, ‘‘I got an elf on the
shelf this weekend.’’ The teacher asked if she was planning
on making a book about her elf like one of her classmates.
She replied, ‘‘Yeah. I was thinking that we could work
together and we could staple the two books together.’’ The
girls collaborated over the next four school days. In this
process Jessie explored the mini-lesson concept of how
writers make intentional decisions when making books as
well as how talking about ideas can assist with writing
(Fig. 8).
At the end of the study, when asked what she was
working on Jessie said, ‘‘A number book.’’ The teacher–
researcher inquired about her decision to make a number
book. Jessie replied, ‘‘Because I wanted to go up really
high and try to get to 100. 100 pages.’’ The teacher then
asked Jessie who she thought would want to read her book.
Jessie exclaimed, ‘‘Anybody!’’

Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:405–414

413

Fig. 9 Jessie writes using a progressive structure, Jessie makes a progressive shape and number book. a 1 2 3!! 4 5 6! 7 8 9 10!. My Numbers!
b I see 1 square. c I see 2 triangles. d I see 3 circles. e I see 4 rectangles. f I see all of my shapes!!!!!!

Jessie’s Writing Samples and Progression as a Writer

Discussion

Jessie’s writing self-efficacy and application of published
authors’ techniques were examined by the teacherresearcher through student writing samples. Jessie worked
on 12 different books and her illustrations were detailed
and vibrant. She wrote sitting near classmates and often
visited about her writing with her peers. During mini-lesson text inquiries, shared reading, and read aloud experiences Jessie regularly noted writing and illustration
techniques, punctuation use, and illustrative text.
When selecting writing topics, Jessie bounced between
writing about specific life experiences and concept books.
Jessie began including speech bubbles and adding lines to
show movement during a Mo Willems author craft study.
After mini-lessons concentrated on noticing ways to
structure text, Jessie made a narrative shape book and a
number and shape concept book (Fig. 9). She worked on
these texts for multiple weeks. Jessie experimented with
punctuations, asked and answered questions, included a
title with cover illustrations, and used classroom environmental print to add labels.

After analysis of participant data, common themes surfaced. The writing identity that kindergarten students
associated with themselves varied due to prior writing
experiences. The writing workshop provided a learning
atmosphere that was conducive to the formation of their
individual writing identities. Daily writing mini-lessons
influenced writer identity as students associated themselves
with the authors and illustrators explored during mini-lessons. Students were ‘‘making books like Mo Willems’’ and
‘‘thinking’’ like writers. Student–teacher conferences,
sharing time, and daily exchanges with peers provided
students with the chance to celebrate who they were as
writers and receive feedback on their products. Student
writing stamina progressively increased throughout the
study.
Author and illustrator inquiry studies provided an avenue for students to notice writing processes from authentic
literature. Time to think, write, and talk allowed students to
utilize these writing processes according to their writing
developmental stage. As student self-efficacy increased and

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writer identity strengthened, students applied these writing
processes more consistently. A new level of thinking about
reading and writing emerged through the inquiry studies.
With this dialogue students began to understand the
intentional decisions authors and illustrators make. As
students gained confidence in their identities as writers,
they applied learning from other curriculum areas to their
writing. These general trends were noted when analyzing
the student work and interview responses of both research
participants and non-participants in the classroom.
Limitations included the length of the study, sample
size, teacher to student contact time, and teacher perceived
self-efficacy. Common themes and patterns may have
become stronger had the research continued through the
entire school year with a larger sample size. Teacher to
student contact time of 3 days per week versus a 5-day
kindergarten schedule may have impacted results.
Implementing writing workshop early, and throughout
the year in kindergarten classrooms is a beneficial practice
for learners at all developmental levels. Writing workshop
lends itself to differentiation among students and provides
opportunities to explore authentic texts and tasks. To
implement a successful writing workshop, teachers must
provide students with a consistent schedule and procedure
for writing workshop including: mini-lessons, text inquiries, partner and class share, and at least 45 min for students to write. Addressing mini-lessons through text
inquiry provides opportunities for students to make connections with other writers.
To build upon writing identity and self-efficacy in students, a consideration for future studies may be to examine
the effects of providing more opportunities for students to
display their completed texts throughout the classroom and
school. Exploring the impact of sending completed texts
home with students to share with family may lead to
interesting research results. This practice would provide
students with more immediate feedback and could bolster
perceived student writing self-efficacy. Another consideration for further studies may be to explore and compare
kindergarten writing self-efficacy, identity, and growth
between classrooms, part time and every day programs,
using a writing workshop framework and others who do
not.
Writing workshop assists kindergarten teachers in providing an authentic learning environment that addresses
Common Core Standards where students ‘‘compose informative/explanatory texts’’ as well as ‘‘narrate a single event
or several loosely linked events’’ and through text inquiry,
students participate in ‘‘shared research and writing projects’’ (National Governors Association 2010). These
opportunities allow for authentic and rigorous instruction
and tasks, while extending the academic vocabulary of

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Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:405–414

students. Writing in a kindergarten classroom is a creative
exploration, an adventure, an outlet for imagination, and
the growth of a child’s spirit. A child’s success in writing
workshop is not black or white, or right or wrong. It
requires a step into the unknown. There is magic when
children believe in their writing abilities through the
exploration of literature in writing workshop. They can
write.

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